Welcome to all existing families and new families that have recently joined us at one of our MEYM kindergartens. We hope you are all well and that your children are in a routine and enjoying Term 2 at kindergarten. As our existing families already know, we are incredibly fortunate to have very experienced, professional and friendly staff who are dedicated to the development of each child in their care. They aim to empower, inspire and equip our little learners with the skills and the curiosity to be independent lifelong learners.
We would like to encourage all families to participate in any of the opportunities there are for family involvement at your child’s centre.
Enrolment Officer Update
Enrolment Process and information for 2023
Families currently enrolled in one of our 3yo programs this year have been automatically rolled into a 4yo kindergarten spot for 2023 by Merri-bek Council, as long as your child is attending the same kinder.
During Term 4, Merri-bek Council will provide the Enrolment Officer at MEYM with a list of registered families and towards the end of October the MEYM Enrolment Officer will email registered families an offer where you will be asked to pay a $50 enrolment fee and submit group preferences.
During November, MEYM Enrolment Officer will email families to confirm program allocation along with an Enrolment form for completion. An enrolment form is required for each year of your child’s enrolment.
Please ensure your child’s Immunisation History Statement is up to date with all required vaccinations and that you have Medical Action Plans (if required by your child) ready to submit, signed and stamped by a doctor with photo attached. This documentation is required prior to commencement in a kindergarten program.
Timetables for 2023 are available on our website (see info below) and 2023 Fees information will be updated to our website once finalised.
Please note that children are eligible for ONE year of 3yo and ONE year of 4yo kindergarten only. A second year of 4yo kindergarten MAY be approved by your teacher if your child shows delays in learning and development outcome areas in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, and when:
• the kindergarten program is deemed to be the most appropriate learning program
• the child will achieve better outcomes at kindergarten than if they go to school.
The Victorian Government provides funding to support children to access a high quality kindergarten program in the two years before they start school. The funding is a contribution towards meeting the cost of the kindergarten program reducing the amount families have to pay per term.
Your child can only be funded for a kindergarten place at one service at any one time and only for one year in a Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program and one year in a Four-Year-Old Kindergarten program (unless your child is assessed as being eligible for a second year of Four-Year-Old Kindergarten by your child’s kindergarten teacher).
If you have any queries at all regarding your enrolment please contact me, Samantha Zuccarelli, Enrolment Officer at email@example.com and I will be happy to assist you.
Our kindergartens will be closed on Monday 13 June for the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday.
Our kindergartens will also be closed on Monday 31 October for an all staff PD Day.
We have been busy developing our website and the following information has recently been added:
- 2023 Timetables – these have now been updated to our website.
- Book-a-Tour – families are able to book a tour of our kindergartens online through our website
- Newsletters – these are available to view in our Newsletter section
- Kindergarten FAQs – Q&A – this is a detailed resource to support all parents with questions surrounding the enrolment process. Please have a read through.
- Incorporation of individual kindergartens websites onto MEYM website
MEYM Future Projects
MEYM is looking at upgrading the buildings within the next two years for Turner Street Kindergarten and Oak Park Kindergarten in order to meet the demand for 3yo kindergarten.
We are applying for IT grants for all services.
We are applying for grant applications to upgrade the playground at Lake Park Kindergarten.
Parent Helper/Incursions/Excursions Information
Parent participation is encouraged in any of the opportunities there are for family involvement at your child’s centre. All parents are required to be triple vaccinated against Covid-19 and should have a Working with Children Check. Please provide this to your kindergarten teacher or Enrolment Officer if they don’t already have it.
Gowanbrae Children’s Centre – Exceeding NQF
We are thrilled to announce that Gowanbrae Children’s Centre has been rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard in all areas by the Assessors from the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division, Department of Education and Training at their recent Assessment and Ratings visit. This is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of the staff at the service. What a great outcome for Gowanbrae families and children!
Child Safe standards
MEYM is guided by the following principles when implementing the standards:
• the cultural safety of Aboriginal children
• the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
• the safety of children with disability.
MEYM has the following in place:
- Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, through effective leadership arrangements
- a Child Safe Policy or Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
- a Code of Conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
- screening, supervision, training and other human resource practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
- processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
- strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
- strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children
Health Requirements and Information
The Department of Education require us to collect up to date Immunisations for your child. This also forms part of your child’s ongoing enrolment. Once your child has had their immunisations please email us a copy. If your child is unvaccinated and we have an outbreak of illness at your child’s kindergarten, your child will be unable to attend for the duration of the exclusion period set out by the Department of Health.
How can parents/carers get an Immunisation History Statement from the AIR?
Parents can print a copy of their child’s Immunisation History Statement from their myGov account. If
parents are experiencing difficulties getting a copy via myGov account parents can:
• call the AIR on phone 1800 653 809
• visit a Medicare or Centrelink office.
Families who do not hold a Medicare card must call the AIR to request an Immunisation History
Statement. A Translating and Interpreting Service is available by calling 131 450, Monday to Friday
from 8:30am to 4:45pm.
Flu Vaccinations – these are free for all children aged 6 months and over between now and 30 June 2022. Flu cases have been rising across Victoria and Covid-19 cases persist. If your child is unwell, they are required to stay at home, unless those symptoms are known to be caused by an underlying health condition or medication. This will help our service to keep other children, staff members and their families as safe as possible. Viruses spread quickly when there is close contact and cause many of the diseases that are common among young children- especially when a child is coughing and sneezing.
Children who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, should undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or a PCR test and quarantine at home until they receive a negative
result. As flu and colds are becoming more widespread, even with a negative COVID-19 result, children and staff should avoid attending the service until their symptoms resolve and they are well again.
Finance Officer’s Update
Invoice for Term 3 program fees will be emailed to all families on Monday 13th June 2022. The payment of fees are due on the 27th June 2022.
For all families with a Direct Debit Arrangement, please ensure there are sufficient funds in your nominated account. If there are any rejected payments due to insufficient funds, as per the Fees Policy, the families will be charged the transaction fees on their next invoice.
For families paying on invoice please pay by the due date.
For all fees enquiries or concerns, please email Pagona Drury at firstname.lastname@example.org
General Managers Update
We are well into Term 2 and many children have now settled in the kindergarten routines and are feeling happy and confident engaging in the programs.
Like many other kindergartens and schools we are experiencing a shortage of staff due to illness and many children have also been away. We would like to commend all of our staff for their resilience by continuing to find ways to offer the programs even with many staff being absent. We appreciate families understanding and cooperation as we try and work through this difficult time. We are committed to continuing to provide programs and it will only be when we cannot meet the regulations in relation to child:staff ratios that we will cancel sessions. If this happens we will try and give families as much notice as possible by communication through emails and text messages.
The Department of Education and Training determine the requirements for reporting positive COVID cases to families. The requirements are that we are only required to notify families if there is a report of positive case within 48 hours of the child attending the program. However, if families notify and request that families be notified we are happy to send out notifications.
If you require more Rapid Antigen Tests please ask at your service.
We are thrilled that families are being welcomed back into our MEYM services. With this routines such as Kinder duty has returned. The Requirement from DET is that any visitors including parents that would like to help with kinder duty or attendance at excursions must be fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, parents who are not fully vaccinated will not be able to participate in kinder events.
As many of you know Merri-bek City Council is in the process of considering a name change. Three names have been submitted to council for consideration. Given this the Board will be looking at the options for MEYM in the near future.
To keep up to date with MEYM news and Events please see our website www.meym.org.au or our Facebook or Instagram page.
Reports from our MEYM Kindergartens
Gowanbrae Children’s Centre
We have had a busy and eventful term 2 with our play-based program. During term 2 Gowanbrae Children’s centre underwent our assessment and rating which resulted an exceeding rating in all 7 quality areas. Our play and stay sessions with all three groups were a great success and it gave the children an opportunity to share their kindergarten with their families. The children have enjoyed a variety of activities on offer this term, in particular role play and dress ups, sensory play and experiences, artistic expression such as still life paintings, modelling with clay and play dough using a variety of natural materials. We also plan according to children’s emerging ideas which guide children’s opportunities and experiences. Therefore, spontaneous learning experiences with intentional teaching are ongoing. We have started library and our mini excursions leading up to our nature play program.
We have many exciting events occurring for the remainder of this term and for term 3. Please mark these in your diary.
Thursday 23rd June Ceres incursion Blue, Yellow and Green groups .
Kinder Library for all groups each week.
End of term 2- Dress up day, come dressed in your favourite costume – 21st June Red group, 23rd June Green, Blue and Yellow group.
Tuesday 12th July Red group kinder photographs.
Thursday 14th July Blue, Yellow and Green group photographs.
Monday 25th July Red group/ Thursday 28th July Merri creek committee incursion.
Thursday 28th July Start of Commonwealth Games. Variety of events for all groups.
Friday August 5 Jeans for Genes – Put on your favourite denim to raise money for childhood research.
20th to 26th August Book Week. Come dressed as your favourite book week character.
13th to 21st August Science week. Activities and or events TBC.
Footy Dress up day – Tuesday 13th September – Red Group, Thursday 15th September – Green Blue and yellow groups
Lake Park Kindergarten
At Lake Park kinder, the children have been very busy creating, exploring and learning through play and the environment.
Now that the initial “settling in” period of term 1 has finished, the children across all groups are starting to demonstrate their sense of belonging to the environment by becoming less reliant on educators and beginning to explore social play and building friendships. We have been focusing on providing long periods of uninterrupted play to enable the children to freely engage with each other and explore new social dynamic and the challenges of initiating and joining in play with others.
Play experiences such as dramatic play including dress ups, home corner café and baby dolls, collaborative construction such as wooden blocks and train tracks have been popular amongst the children and encourage cooperative play and opportunities for communication, negotiation, sharing of ideas and problem solving.
The Kingfisher group have been further exploring friendships and social skills such as turn taking and cooperation by small group experiences such as board games and large floor puzzles for quiet experiences on the mat at the end of the day.
Another focus shared across the three groups has been reconciliation week and discussing the new council name options for Merri-bek with the Children: From the Woiwurrung language; Jerrang (meaning leaf of a tree), Merri-Bek (meaning rocky place) and Wa dam buk (meaning renew).
We have been exploring these concepts through experiences such as: storytelling with Australian animal toys and puppets searching for their “Wilam” (home) in either the Jerrang or Merri-Bek; collecting Autumn leaves to use for threading, painting, crayon rubbing and creating leaf stained glass windows with clear contact; using collections of natural rocks and pebbles for creating pictures and sensory play; reading the story “Wilam” by Aunty Joy Murphy and Andrew Kelly and recreating the story with imaginative play resources and reading the story “Sorry Sorry” by Anne Kerr.
Moomba Park Kindergarten
Moomba Park Kindergarten has had a busy start to the term! We have had visits from Bunnings and Carp Productions and some groups have a visit from a local police officer to look forward to. We have also been working closely with our Allied Health Team from Merri Health who have been supporting and coaching the staff on aspects of speech therapy and emotional support and regulation for children. Children have been loving exploring the story of Tiddalick the frog and are starting to explore some other dreamtime tales.
They are enjoying Moomba’s yard even on days when it feels a bit cooler and have been creating wonderful mixtures and potions in the mud patch and sand pit. Inside they have been enjoying painting, building with blocks, reading books and doing some beading. Kangaroo, Possum and Echidna all enjoyed a show by carp productions about insects and mini beasts. It allowed many of the children to dress up and participate in a the story of the “Insect Ball” – a show they highly recommend to all.
We have been very busy at Newlands.
We made banana muffins with our student Devine.
We had a parent who is a geologist come in and did a presentation about rocks and volcanoes.
We participated in still life drawing. An art technique that requires the artist to observe items and take careful note of colour, size, texture and shape. Some amazing interpretations transpired.
We also have been focusing on Identity. The children drew a selfie or self portrait of themselves. They are all so unique and individual.
We have been enjoying our new outdoor space. Particularly the water pump and digging patch.
Lots of hands on learning opportunities for the children too.
Oak Park Kindergarten
This term at Oak Park, we finished our Core module in the ResourceSmart for Schools program after a very interrupted 12 months with our playground renovation, followed by COVID guidelines preventing visitors to our Kindergarten. Deanne from Ceres was finally able to come and do a Biodiversity Audit with our 4yo Yellow group to close off the module. We are now moving onto the waste module.
Both of our 4yo groups started their community walks around Oak Park. Prior to leaving, we make a list of things that we are going to look out for, and although we didn’t see any dinosaur bones, eagles or unicorns that were on our list, we did see several of our Kinder families out and about, lots of red cars, the local primary school and a cat.
We hosted the Henny Penny Hatching Program for a fortnight with 11 eggs in an incubator being delivered. We watched them all hatch out over the first week, then in the second week had holds and inspected the feathers quickly growing on their wings.
It is great to finally have families back in the classroom and it happened just in time for our parents to come and see our chicks! Our Parents Group spent fundraising money raised on new playground equipment in our lower yard and the children have enjoyed having lots of new obstacles to conquer. MEYM submitted a grant application last year for a water tank to be installed near our sandpit. This was successful and we returned from the holidays to find it ready to go and have had a lot of fun using this to make soups and mud pies in the sandpit and play kitchen.
Finally, a big shout out to the amazing Oak Park staff who all took on extra shifts throughout this term to keep the doors open and the programs running smoothly with so much illness around us. We are all hoping for a much healthier term 3.
Turner Street Kindergarten
We have been busy at Turner Street Kindergarten during Term 2. At the beginning of Term both Four year old groups enjoyed an incursion by Envirocom about “Where Does our Rubbish Go?” Children learnt about different types of rubbish and which bin the rubbish belongs in. It was a great introduction to our focus on sustainability.
Our mixed 3 and 4 year old group is working wonderfully together, it’s fantastic to see the different age groups combined and engaging in the program. Out straight 3 year old group has settled beautifully, they enjoy participating in the indoor/outdoor program provided.
Both Four year old groups have participated in some cooking at kindergarten, with Green group even walking down to the local O’Heas Bakery to buy their ingredients. We are looking at participating in more community outings during the remainder of the year.
Mothers day was an exciting time as we officially welcomed back families into the service. Each group invited a significant family member to kinder to spend time with. One group used the opportunity to host The Biggest Morning Tea and raised $322 through donations.
Your child’s photo day is:
Blue group . Tuesday 30th August
Green and purple Wednesday 31st August
Yellow Thursday 1st September
Play Learn Grow
Play Learn Grow is a free text message program developed in collaboration with early childhood experts to help parents and carers of two and three-year-old children to support their child’s wellbeing, learning and development at home. Registered participants will receive three personalised text messages per week containing information and practical advice and easy activity ideas to strengthen the home learning environment. From late April 2022, these text messages will be available in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Karen and Simplified Chinese. Parents/carers can join by texting PLAY to 0428 606 027 or by visiting the Play Learn Grow website
Nominations for the 2022 Victorian Early Years Awards are now open
Families, early childhood professionals and early years organisations can nominate themselves or others.
In 2022, the awards will celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including improving access and participation, supporting parents and promoting children’s health and wellbeing, as well as the prestigious Early Childhood Teacher of the Year.
Nominations for the awards close on Monday 13 June, with finalists announced in August ahead of the awards ceremony on 9 November. Find out more and submit a nomination
Merri-bek City Council and Victoria University Playwork Project
Merri-bek Children Services’ collaborative partnership with Victoria University to deliver a pop-up play space at Coburg Courtyard shall continue following a successful introduction at the launch on Saturday 4 April. From Tuesday 12 April until Saturday 21 May, the Courtyard will become a magical place where children of all ages will have an opportunity to build and construct magnificent structures with the use of free materials known as ‘loose parts.’ Bachelor of Early Childhood Education students shall participate in an innovative practicum, supported by Mentor Teachers to provide an open ended and inviting opportunity for children and their families to engage in open ended play and construction, using materials such as boxes. ribbon, paper, pots, kitchen utensils and tyres to experiment, create and explore the space and using their imagination. The program shall run every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 1pm from Coburg Courtyard @ 28 Victoria Street Coburg.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our Term 2 Newsletter. If you have any comments or anything you would like to see incorporated into our next newsletter please email email@example.com